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20121228
20121228
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in washington. it ended with the reelection of barack obama. if you could think of adjectives, what would they be to describe these seven years? >> interesting. challenging. sometimes totally frustrating. full of opportunities for the country. there were good times during these 12 years, laced together with some that were not so good. 9/11. the anthrax scare. there were also positive things. the election of barack obama i thought was a very positive statement for the country and moving forward in a way out of a fiscal of this. abyss.thi i could not have imagined a better time to have been here with all of the things that have happened. >> let me ask you to look back over those 12 years and ask what the high point was. >> when we could work together. maybe the single event that would and body that is the gang of 14. john mccain and i put together six other democrats and six other republicans to avoid what was then called the nuclear option, changing the rules, turning the senate into a smaller version of the house, where the rights of the minority caucus are ignored. consequently, we were
. it is a process -- people think of a filibuster in "mr. smith goes to washington." i think we should have those rules in place to change it so mr. smith stays on the floor during the filibuster. it does not just run time against the senate. it does not make any sense. if somebody feels strongly enough that they want to bring the senate to a halt, they should be willing to stay there on the floor and explain why, and i think it would be self- enforcing if people would be less likely to. people look at the senate and cannot work together, cannot get anything done, and one person wants their pay to be docked. >> any other reforms or tuneups? >> if somebody put a hold on it, you could not find out who did it. secret holds on nominees. once you put a hold on them, that was it. that was wrong. we have cleaned up the rules in many different ways. you would have a 60-vote threshold to do some like that. the people back home cannot understand that. they should not accept it. >> what about the lowest point? >> as part of the affordable care at, i tried to get medicaid for the expansion of medicaid, to ta
-- >> [inaudible] -- washington post -- thank you for those remarks. you have taken us into thorny territory. from your visits to china, your conversations with the students there and officials there, do you have a sense that we are on a path>> thank you. "washington post." thank you for those remarks. territory. from your visits to china, and your conversations with students and officials, if you have a sense that we are on a path where an independent judiciary can be formed in a system that is ruled by communist party that puts other values much more on you are siding. do you have a sense the party is willing to make the kind of compromises that will put it out of business? >> you are asking the question ii do not know. i do know that you have an entire generation of students who were very much up to speed on this. they do see a rule of law and the kind of values and our constitution as worthwhile and important. how do get from here to there? the battle becomes half won. it is an article of faith with me. there is no dictatorship. but eventually, public opinion does matter. informed public opini
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